Almost every established company has a mission statement located prominently on its website and used in its marketing materials to push its brand messaging. Whether or not every company lives up to its mission statement is debatable, but at Cambium Learning Group, as a company made up of diverse businesses, products and cultures, attempting to craft a unifying and traditional mission statement wouldn't be the most effective way to describe what unites and defines us. Instead, we decided to focus on purpose: why Cambium exists and why it contains the companies that it does.
Defining Cambium's Purpose
What was equally important in deciding to focus on purpose was how we would actually deliver on it.
As part of our branding discovery process, we spoke to people across Cambium, educators across the country and did both quantitative and qualitative market research to help us zero in on what matters most not just to Cambium, but to the K-12 students and educators we serve.
After our discovery phase, we realized that our purpose — our reason for existing — was clear: Cambium is unequivocally focused on overcoming education's most pressing challenge - ensuring that all students and teachers feel universally seen, valued, and supported.
And, during the pandemic, while teachers and students have faced innumerable challenges, ensuring that they feel seen, valued, and supported has been more important than ever.
In many ways, defining our purpose was the easier part. The tougher part was how we were going to deliver on that purpose to make a meaningful impact.
So, where did we land? By staying focused on the three things educators have told us are most needed to make a meaningful impact: simplicity, certainty, and now, which became known as our Essential Elements.
Cambium's Essential Elements
Our Essential Elements — simplicity, certainty, now — are the common thread that brings all of our businesses together:
- Simplicity: While education today can sometimes be anything but simple, parents, teachers, students and administrators all need solutions that solve real learning challenges. We create experiences that are not just effective, but practical, relevant, and easier.
- Certainty: Cambium's brands can be counted on to eliminate fear and doubt for students and educators, delivering solutions our users know they can count on.
- Now: Unlike brands that are content to focus on vague promises about a distant future, we create learning that teachers and students can benefit from today and build on tomorrow, helping them make the most of each moment they invest in education.
We use these Essential Elements to guide our business strategy, our solutions, and our voice as leaders - both internally at Cambium and externally. Internally, the Essential Elements guide our processes to drive the best work from our team including how we treat and speak to each other, how we work to help each other feel safe and confident to take chances, and how we look for ways to make an immediate difference. Externally, the Essential Elements influence how we build and deliver our products and how we focus our energy and resources.
If we're not making the world simpler, not helping people feel more certain, and not having an impact right now, we have to think twice about what we're doing and readjust our approach. In this way, the Essential Elements act as our North Star, consistently guiding us to make the right decisions that will best serve educators and students right now.
As long as we all work together to infuse simplicity, certainty and a focus on the present across everything we do, we'll continue to be successful. How do we know that? Because we will continue to deliver — and live — what educators and students need and value most.